15 Points on GraphQL Vs REST API

abhinav singhal
4 min readMar 20, 2022

This article describes some of the main differences between graphql and REST API. Graphql and REST api are some of the popular approaches to building API’s. GraphQL and REST are two ways to send data over HTTP. While GraphQL is seen as a replacement to REST, the two methods aren’t meant to be used in the same way. The purpose of this article isn’t to tell you which one is better but rather help you understand their differences and guide you through each technology.

GraphQL is a query language which was developed by Facebook in 2012. It was developed to make it easy to add new features faster and more flexibly, without having to write additional backend code.

GraphQL is an open source data query and manipulation language, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data. It was developed and open-sourced by Facebook.

Here are some of the similarities and differences

  1. The biggest difference is that GraphQL is a query language for your API, and your API alone, while REST APIs do not provide clear method structures or functionality. GraphQL also provides structure with types which helps users to predict what information they will receive when making a request.
  2. An important difference is that with rest api you must specify the exact endpoints in advance whereas with graphql, there’s only one endpoint. Additionally, with graphql you can fetch whatever data you want in one request rather than making several round trips as with rest apis, so this saves time and bandwidth.
  3. GraphQL was created as a more efficient alternative to REST APIs. GraphQL has a single endpoint, while REST is based on resources and their URIs.
  4. Graphql is the new kid on the block, it’s plenty of hype and in many ways is a better alternative to REST. Graphql implements a type system that helps developers write less code and increases performance by letting client request for only the data they need, as opposed to REST which always serves all data associated with a resource.
  5. GraphQL and REST are two styles that help us provide consistency in the way we structure APIs. While REST is a very simple, RESTful APIs can be quite verbose, while GraphQL is all about being terse. This app will help you see what the differences are between them through examples!
  6. GraphQL is more flexible than REST. When retrieving data with REST, you are limited to the predefined routes and operations that the API’s developer has set up and analyzed before hand. These constraints require a lot of thought, analysis, and trial and error by the developer whereas GraphQL only requires you to specify what’s immediately requested. Also, if at some time you need additional properties, with REST you have to return them from a different endpoint or design a new request which is inefficient. GraphQL makes it painless and easy to get exactly what you want from the API without all the cruft of multiple roundtrips and tons of new endpoint definitions.
  7. With REST, many endpoints are exposed, each endpoint addresses a single resource, every request is on a client’s behalf, any request can alter server-side data. With GraphQL: the clients describes what data it needs in a query language; the server exposes one endpoint and the client submits queries to this endpoint, the client does not directly modify the server-side data and has to submit mutations for this purpose.
  8. The major difference between Graphql and Rest is that Rest relies on strict REST server responses while GraphQL has the ability to access multiple resources in one request. GraphQL also gives you an unlimited number of end points whereas with REST, you are bound to the specific end points defined. And finally, GraphQL is more flexible than REST.
  9. Graphql vs Rest API is a trending topic right now. This is good because it means that the API industry is improving. RESTful API are useful when you have small projects but as they grow in size, they quickly break down. Graphql was created so that developers can build complex systems in a simpler way. There are many similarities between them, as well as quite a few differences. This article will help explain some of these differences between graphql and rest api, and help you decide which one will work better for your next project.
  10. GraphQL is more flexible, efficient and easier to use compared to rest API.
  11. The graphql vs rest api question has been a hot topic for the last few years. Both of the technologies have their advantages and their shortcomings. So how do you decide which one to use in your applications? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. What works best for one project may not work at all for another. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your API and how much time you want to put into developing it.
  12. By calling a single endpoint, GraphQL allows you to fetch multiple resources in a single request, while REST requires loading from multiple endpoints.
  13. GraphQL uses types to ensure Apps only ask for what’s possible and provide clear and helpful errors.
  14. GraphQL APIs fetch relative to a hierarchical mutation structure whereas REST APIs are organized around resources and nested resources require additional round trips
  15. Graphql is a query language and server-side runtime for application that are just the front end or for microservices. Graphql makes it easy for the person querying data and the developer building the api. You can have multiple queries with one request so it cuts down on network traffic, it allows you to tailor your queries and get only what you need, and its better for large datasets as you dont have to filter lots of data from 1 endpoint.

I hope this helps in getting some clarity on similarities and difference between graphql and REST api.



abhinav singhal

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